This is a compelling story about a young innocent finding her way through Mississippi circa 1985, before the casinos took over the Gulf Coast. With Fay, Brown has created an engaging heroine who is thoroughly believable. Her journey from backwoods shacks to strip joints, from paternal abuse to true love, pregnancy and tragic loss is moving, often hilarious and unforgettable. Male authors rarely create believable female characters, which is not the case with Fay. The supporting characters are deftly drawn and include a kindly couple (a highway patrolman and his alcoholic wife) who offer Fay shelter, a sexy but dangerous strip club bouncer who falls hard for Fay and his slimy, womanizing half-brother. Despite her tender age (17) and fifth grade education, Fay has an amazing instinct for survival which helps her escape several perilous situations. This book was so incredible that I gobbled it down in two days. "Fay" is a thrilling page-turner that is also a beautifully written, poignant tale. It was my first introduction to Larry Brown and I'm so grateful that I found it. I strongly recommend this book to readers who appreciate fine writing as well as those seeking a great original story. If readers like this book, they should also check out two other fine books by Brown: "Big Bad Love," a tremendous collection of short stories, and "Father and Son," another novel.